RFT 561: Aviation Artist Rick Broome

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By George Nolly and Captain George Nolly. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Rick is one of the most unique artists in the world. He has been likened to such great artists as Rembrandt & Maxfield Parish. He is an Old World-Flemish style painter, meaning he paints using transparent colors to build depth and color. Rick's artwork has continually grown in value over the years. Although he has specialized in Aviation artwork, he has created other works from landscape to space paintings. Rick is also the master at "Starlite" painting. He has developed a technique that uses UV and fluorescent paints to change his paintings under different light frequencies. His paintings go from a Day scene to a Night scene under Blacklight. This is an incredible process that allows his works to actually become living pieces. He can make clouds move. He is an Old World-Flemish style painter, meaning he paints using transparent colors to build depth and color. Rick's artwork has continually grown in value over the years. Although he has specialized in Aviation artwork, he has created other works from landscape to space paintings. Rick is also the master at "Starlite" painting. He has developed a technique that uses UV and fluorescent paints to change his paintings under different light frequencies. His paintings go from a Day scene to a Night scene under Blacklight. This is an incredible process that allows his works to actually become living pieces. He can make clouds move... Rick has thousands of collectors around the world.

Rick's first efforts with drawing and painting aircraft began as a child. He was a Boy Scout and earned the Aviation Merit Badge. As soon as he was 13 years old he left the Boy Scouts and joined the Pueblo Colorado Civil Air Patrol as a cadet. He stayed active with the CAP becoming a Senior Member when he was 18 years old. "The Civil Air Patrol was a huge help to me during my teenage years. I loved every aspect of the CAP and got to fly a lot too. I was in a Piper Cub waiting to take the active at Pueblo when a United Airlines jet airliner taxied up behind us and stopped only a few feet short of our airplane!" I took movies of that event and hope to get them on DVD sometime soon."

Encouragement for Broome as an artist began as early as he could start coloring inside the lines. At age 7 he won a national coloring contest sponsored by the Better Homes and Gardens national magazine. This was when he was drawing and coloring aircraft from every era. His passions in aviation and flying were encouraged by his parents and friends. By the time he was 15 years old he was taking private commissions for original art from pilots in both the Denver and Pueblo areas. These early sales combined with true focus allowed young Broome to solo on his 16th birthday. He was checked out in 8 different aircraft within a month of his solo and logged hundreds of hours flying time while still in high school.

In 1971 Rick and Billie were also fortunate to begin meeting young officers returning from flying missions in Vietnam with new assignments to teach cadets at the Academy. The cadet leadership of the Air Force Academy class of 1974 was so pleased with his paintings that they commissioned an original painting of a USAF Cessna T-41 trainer for their Class Gift to the Academy at graduation.

This set the precedent for Broome’s devotion to the Academy and their annual graduation class paintings. “The relationships we made with many of our cadets went on to become lifetime events for which we are very thankful. I know I have fed far in excess of a thousand cadets!” said Mrs. Broome during a recent interview."

Rick’s final flight in the cockpit of a United airliner was on November 7, 1970 when he rode jump seat on a 4 hour training flight in a brand new United Boeing 747. “I got to fly the Boeing 747 back from Las Vegas in the left seat. Braniff Airways skipper the late Captain Len Morgan was my copilot. "Len asked me what I thought the bird felt like and I replied it reminded him of flying a C-47.”

Len’s eyes got real big and he replied “You have flown a DC-3?” And then Rick told him how -- at the age of 14 -- he had indeed flown a USAF C-47 from Lowry AFB in Denver to the Academy and back as part of his Civil Air Patrol Summer Encampment activities! United Captain Ed Mack Miller and famed aviator and chart maker Elrey B. Jeppesen had begun mentoring Rick when he was 14 years old.

Rick has flown about 2200 hours in 47 different aircraft. In addition he has completed nearly 3000 original paintings which are on display throughout the world.

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